Arts & Entertainment

  • Readers Choice

    BEST GOLF COURSE tie: Troon North Golf Club 10320 East Dynamite, Scottsdale 480-502-5360 and Tournament Players Club of Scottsdale 17020 North Hayden, Scottsdale 480-585-3428 BEST CITY HIKING TRAIL Camelback Mountain BEST CITY PARK Encanto Park and Recreation Area 2605 North 15th Avenue 602-261-8994 BEST KIDS' FREE FUN SPOT Tempe Town Lake BEST KIDS' FUN-FOR-A-PRICE SPOT Castles-n-Coasters 9445 North Metro Parkway East 602-997-7575 BEST PLACE TO SPEND THE DAY WITH YOUR DOG Any dog park… More >>
  • Best Surprise For The Kids

    Reptile Adventures

    If you're the sort of parent who blows your budget on your kids' parties, consider introducing your children and all their friends to T-Bo, the rhinoceros iguana. T-Bo is one of 500 creatures kept by Rich Ihle's Reptile Adventures. For $150, Ihle will cart a truck full of snakes and lizards to your home guaranteed to drop every jaw in… More >>
  • Best Video Arcade

    GameWorks

    Yeah, yeah, there's more to do at GameWorks than simulate genocide. But inspired killing is the foundation of any inspiring arcade. And with several dozen of the world's most realistically hyperviolent video games, GameWorks is just about as inspiring as it gets, killing-wise. If you tire of killing, if that's possible, GameWorks offers all sorts of other entertaining cyber realms. And… More >>
  • Best Advice For Kids

    Big League Dugout

    Before he became a Valley Popsicle, Ted Williams said famously that hitting a baseball was the hardest thing to do in all of sports. Keep that in mind the next time your Little Leaguer whiffs. If you'd like to do something constructive to help your budding all-star, take the kid over to Big League Dugout, where former major league ballplayers… More >>
  • Best Place To Play The Slots (The Other Kind)

    Terry's Performance Raceways

    What legions of us still have childhood memories of time spent in the game room, sitting cross-legged (back then we called it "Indian style") in front of a loop of plastic track, jockeying tiny magnetic cars to race our siblings for superlative titles -- the winner was "the coolest person on the planet," say, and the loser was "actually adopted… More >>
  • Best Place To Contribute To The (Alleged) Delinquency Of A Minor

    The Original Hamburger Works

    The Music Man is a fine musical, but that Meredith Willson lyric "trouble starts with T and that rhymes with P and that stands for pool" has cast a dark pall on the upstanding game of billiards. We beg to differ, because words like "tenacity," "temperance," "tolerance" and "tertiary" don't exactly start with the letter J. Indeed, "pockets mark the difference… More >>
  • Best Place To See The State Bird

    Old MacDonald's Ranch

    On this ranch, they have some chickens, E-I-E-I-O. With a donkey here and a billy goat there, you name the domesticated farm animal, you can pet it and make it your friend. After communing with farm life, go on a hayride, have a cookout, or take in the wildlife (like Arizona's "first bird," the cactus wren). The ranch is located… More >>
  • Best Kids' Fun-For-A-Price Spot

    Fiddlesticks Family Fun Park - CLOSED

    Sure, there are plenty of places that can boast "Fun" as their middle name. But Fiddlesticks in Scottsdale can claim it as its first and last name as well. The main draw of this seven-acre family fun park is the 4,000 square feet devoted to Atlantis Laser Odyssey, a state-of-the-art laser tag adventure game that becomes a matter of familial… More >>
  • Best Kids' Free Fun Spot

    Pinal County Historical Museum

    Nothing is free, especially where kids are concerned. "I gotta have," "I want it" and "You promised" are all familiar mantras heard by parents milliseconds after the car door shuts. So why not surprise your complaining juniors with a "scared straight" time-travel expedition to 1870 that's absolutely free? It's worth the drive to Florence just to see the shock on your… More >>
  • Best Weekend Water-Park Getaway

    Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

    Arizona's best winter resorts have figured out they can make money in the summer offering local families a relatively cheap night and a day at a water park. Of these resorts, Pointe Hilton's Squaw Peak resort is best-known because of its sprawling lazy river. It's great fun, but our money goes with Squaw Peak's sister hotel at Tapatio Cliffs. That's because… More >>
  • Best West-Side Park

    The White Tank Mountain Regional Park

    A stunning stand of increasingly rare saguaro cactus welcomes visitors to Maricopa County's largest park, totaling 29,217 acres of rugged mountains with ragged ridges separated by deep canyons. Infrequent, heavy rains pouring down chutes and plunging over cliffs have scoured out a series of depressions in white granite -- creating a series of "tanks." About 21 miles of trails are available… More >>
  • Best Short Hike

    Telegraph Pass Trail

    It's a quick jaunt, but it offers a little bit of everything that you're looking for when you're lighting out to the desert to spend an hour or two with nature. The Ahwatukee trailhead of South Mountain Preserve offers lots of options for the hiker -- from the flat Desert Classic (favored mainly by mountain bikers) to the arduous National… More >>
  • Best Nearly Out-Of-Town Hike

    Pinnacle Peak Park

    There are a hundred reasons to hike up Pinnacle Peak. First, the scenery is breathtaking, high Sonoran Desert in all its glory. Second, there's variety. Besides hiking trails over 150 acres, there are three rock-climbing areas. Third, there's the feeling of victory if we make it to the top of the 3,171-foot peak. Fourth, it's nice to know that the… More >>
  • Best City Hike

    Squaw Peak Summit Trail

    Who needs reality TV when you can be out getting a cardiovascular workout on Squaw Peak? We've traveled up other more vigorous hiking trails and found people too tired to dish the poo. We've tried easy walking trails where it's too hard to keep pace with a pack of gossiping secretaries. This trail has the perfect balance of physical challenges… More >>
  • Best Urban Park

    Indian School Park

    It easily could have wound up as just another 75 acres of concrete jungle, but instead the old Phoenix Indian School grounds now include a 2.5-acre lake and a neighborhood park with a playground and volleyball courts. The 1,500-seat amphitheater housed the city's summer concert series this year, including free steel drum and Brazilian jazz performances, and even a performance… More >>
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